by Aaron Garcia
WCWAA 10-year-olds wins baseball crown
The 10U Weddington Nationals of the Wesley Chapel Weddington Athletic Association downed Charlotte’s Myers Park team, 13-2, to win the District 3 Tournament of Champions on June 23.
The Nationals went 6-0 in the tournament, which included pool play and a pair of medalist rounds. Jackson Gill and Jack Walker each had grand slams in the tournament. Manager Jeff Paul’s club also received timely hitting from catcher Caleb Manuz, right fielder Eric Molnar and second baseman Harrison Paul. Gill and Ethan Haislip also were solid on the mound.
Post 535 losing players, winning games
Despite a three-game losing streak to wrap up the regular season, the Union County American Legion Post 535 baseball team appears to have righted the ship in the postseason, as it downed Burke County, 3-1, in the best-of-five opening round of the Area IV playoffs last week.
The series win improved Post 535’s record to 12-5. Post 535 opened its second-round series against Cherryville on July 8 with a 10-inning, 6-3 loss. The team’s July 9 game was postponed due to rain, with the second game rescheduled for July 11.
Post 535 should receive a boost in Game 2 from the return of infielder/pitcher Ryan Smith, a Sun Valley alum who missed the previous seven games with a hamstring injury.
“We tried to do our best without him,” said Post 535 coach Alan Mitchell. “Ryan is a big part of our team, and it’s going to be great with him back in the lineup.”
Smith’s presence should offset some recent losses for Post 535, which has dealt with the exodus of several college-bound players who have had to report to their college programs, including Tyler Chadwick (Coastal Carolina), John Mangum (N.C. State) and David Weidman (Army). Post 535 also welcomed back catcher Andrew Knight, who missed several games while on a mission trip.
Mitchell commended catcher Jacob Rand, who filled in for catchers Mangum and Knight for eight consecutive games in last week’s severe heat.
“He’s really been strong for us,” said Mitchell, who also noted that pitchers Carter Harris, Wilson Conley and Nick Norton have been solid on the mound.
“(The remaining players) have had good attitudes about it and we’re doing the best we can,” said Mitchell. “We miss those guys that are gone – they were tremendous talents – but we also have a pretty good baseball team with what we have left.”
Area baseball players named to all-state team
The N.C. Coaches Association recently released its all-state baseball team, and several Union County athletes were recognized.
Three local players were among the Class 3A recipients. Weddington’s Alex Bostic, Union County Weekly’s 2012 Player of the Year was honored, as was teammate Jeremy Schellhorn.
The Warrior duo was joined by Marvin Ridge’s Tyler Chadwick. Cuthbertson had two players on the Class 2A team in pitcher/outfielder Cameron Tekker and catcher John Mangum.